Running a RNW Expo

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karmiec
TNN oracle
Posts: 12993
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Albany, Auckland

Running a RNW Expo

Post by karmiec » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:18 am

Real Nappy Week Events : Expo

Identify your aims and objectives : do you have a target number of new visitors (non TNNers), what do you want them to go away with (information, products, hirekit bookings?..)

Identify your target markets: on two counts, identify suitable retailer types (are you exclusive to nappy retailers, is it TNNers products/services, is it a wider eco/baby focus?) , and identify key consumer groups (pregnant women/familes, families with babies/toddlers).

Now separate duties:
Firstly I would suggest having a chair-person or head honcho, this is the person who keeps everyone working towards the same aim and prevents us going off on a tangent. They are a good person to keep track of finances and to keep a check list of objectives and dates.
One person should be the contact point for all retailers enquiries/bookings/feedback
One person should oversee all customer contacts – that is PR and Advertising aimed at mothers/families through various sources.
One person should take responsibility for events on the day – demonstrations, volunteer rosters etc.

All of these people may need one or more people to delegate smaller jobs to as required. So there may in fact be three people doing a particular role but one of those people has agreed to make sure that it is done.
Lisa

karmiec
TNN oracle
Posts: 12993
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Albany, Auckland

Re: Running a RNW Expo

Post by karmiec » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:19 am

Setting a budget:

Generally the budget will be governed by the balance between offering stalls at a price retailers can afford, and finding a venue big enough and cheap enough to hold the number of stalls required.

Look around for spaces of an appropriate capacity, get quotes if possible and book as soon as you can. If you have sufficient time this is a good time to send out emails to retailers looking for expressions of interest. Get quotes for the minimum amount of signage, advertising and photocopying required.

Once the hall is booked set the maximum and minimum number of stalls. Consider those minimum expenses. Add together the Hall hire and minimum expenses and then divide by the minimum number of stalls to give the approximate stall hire fee.
Start taking bookings. Have a cut off date of before the event, a month or even a fortnight before the event would be good, that way the funds will be available to have flyers printed, and ads placed.

Once the minimum number of stalls is booked have a priority for the non-essential spending – eg coroflute signage to direct traffic, paid adverts, having display photos or brochures printed. That should be planned right up to the maximum number of stalls booked. As we do not intend to make a profit at these events.
Lisa

karmiec
TNN oracle
Posts: 12993
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Albany, Auckland

Re: Running a RNW Expo

Post by karmiec » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:21 am

Advertisng and PR:

This can be a huge job. TNN needs to organise a standard format for each years RNW print material so that once details are supplied a PDF can quickly be updated with your specific info and emailed out for distribution, the same with website space. A basic poster should be requested as soon as a venue is booked.

Contact lists:
From your brainstorm of your target market-
Pregnant Mums/Families – Antenatal classes, Antenatal Yoga, Midwives, Hospitals
Young Families – Plunket, Parents Centre classes, Mainly Music, Playgroups, Doctors offices, Playcentre, Daycare, Libraries
Others – budget advisers, eco groups
Other online forums
Events Listings (print, radio, online)
Newspapers

Several hours can be lost trawling the internet for peoples email details, signing up for forums and events listing sites. This would be a good area to divide and conquer... prioritise and decide who to email a PDF to and who would benefit from having flyers printed for their office. All our emails have offered to send people flyers if they want some but so far we have had a few ask for them to be mailed.

I had three or four standard cover letters, touching on the relevant details for each group. Events listings need to know that the event is free, and that TNN is a community group. Budget advisors need to know how much money a family can save with even part time cloth nappy use. Information going to organisations that are sponsored by disposable nappy retailers needs to be that TNN is hosting a free information session on available nappy options but no specifics on retailers or brands.

Contact for print media free events listings is often two months in advance, radio media approximately 10 days in advance. Women often only see their midwives once a month for the first two trimesters so to reach all of a midwife’s clients you would be best to get material to them 4-6 weeks before the event.

Notes from previous experiences: Midwives and Antenatal classes and Hirekit managers have been the best for passing on information.

Newspapers are generally only interested in news after it has happened. If you want an article to promo RNW and your event you will need to contrive some sort of ‘news’. Depending on the area and how much news is available that week : Product Launch, nappy thefts, demonstration/protest (eg: a display of the number of sacks of rubbish per yer per child in disposables) ... a sympathetic reporter may write one just about cloth usage in general BUT these stories are easily bumped.

To get notices into places like plunket and parents centre generally requires someone who is part of the organisation OR a face to face visit at the local level. Head office contact is like hitting your head against a brick wall.
Lisa

karmiec
TNN oracle
Posts: 12993
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Albany, Auckland

Re: Running a RNW Expo

Post by karmiec » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:23 am

Contacting Stallholders:
Before contacting retailers it is advisable to decide what ‘rules’ will apply; What types of products are appropriate etc.
In Auckland we found we needed to look beyond TNN lists as there were many more retailers a few commercial hirekits owners that weren’t listed. Google and Trademe are good places to start. If you are going beyond nappy retailers you may want to consider “advertising” for stall holders on small business and WAHM type forums.

An expression of interest form is a good way to get a rough idea of numbers before you commit to holding an event, it is also a good way weed out retailers who have contacted you in but don’t fit your aims/objectives.

Once you have confirmed your venue and the stall fees you can open it up to bookings. We choose to take payment in advance, and I would recommend that there is a cut off 2-4 weeks before your event. Once a booking form is received you will need to watch for payment. We have run our bookings through the TNN bank account as this seemed the most appropriate. Then major expenses we requested a cheque from TNN for and minor expenses we paid for ourselves and requested re-embursment.

Stall holders need to know:
Are tables provided, size of table or stall
Access to power/facilities
Cost to them
Who is being targeted to attend the expo
What is expected of them with regards to set up and pack down, and time allowed for that.

If you are requesting prizes for an entry prize or raffle, you should also indicate to the retailers how this will be advertised and the conditions on entry to the competition (eg: are volunteers, and retailers on the day eligible to enter)
Lisa

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